Skip to main content

More than Just the Philanderer and the Pharisee

You hear a lot in some churches about how Jesus spent time with sinners, and about how Jesus was always putting the 'religious elite' in their place.  Because of this it is easy to develop a picture of Jesus either as a guy sitting around the bar cracking jokes with all his unsaved buddies, or as a guy continually raining on the parade of the religious.  Both pictures of Jesus have some merit, they are both represented in Scripture.  I don't think, however, that this completes the picture.  Following Jesus isn't as simple as loving blind tolerance of sinful behavior, or speaking harsh words against the rule-following, critically-minded religious.

It is instructive that the New Testament letters spend a good deal of time dealing with all that area in between Philanderer and Pharisee.  The letters of the Apostles and early Christian leaders address a wide array of topics like sexual immorality, work ethic, pure speech, hypocrisy, ex communication, order, discipline, grace, and forgiveness.  Love God, love people is a nice motto but we'd have a pretty short Bible if that was all that mattered.  Rather, to follow Christ is to be called into a constant ebb an flow, passion and redirection, grace-needed, forgiveness-offered, striving for righteousness, endeavor.  It is work.  And it is work that many people in churches have no interest in doing.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling the Apostle Paul said.  Which means we don't get saved and just stay the same.  We are to take serious the work of understanding who Christ is and applying the Word of God in our lives.  When was the last time you felt fear and trembling regarding your salvation?  When was the last time you were concerned about if your faith was genuine?  When was the last time you tremble at the thought of displeasing God or misunderstanding him?

Work it out the Bible says.  Don't let your heart be settled simply because you are not a Philanderer or a Pharisee.  Evaluate every area of your life to ensure that it is being brought into alignment with the nature of God and the character of Christ.  Get up when you fall.  Stand up on the truth.  Look up for the hope you need to press on.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Reasons I Won't Let My Kids Wear Clothes with Skulls on Them

Yesterday I threw out a poll question on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  The poll question asked, "Should Christians wear attire with skulls on it?"  I received some great comments from people with a variety of opinions.  You can read the comments on my timeline from 8/8/13.

My opinion is that Christians should not wear clothes with skulls on them.

I don't have one specific Bible verse that I can use to prove my point.  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt not wear clothes with skulls."  I do however think there are number of conclusions that can be drawn from Scripture that support my opinion.

1.  Jesus does care about the clothes we wear.
I don't believe God's people are free to wear whatever they want.  From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament you can find Biblical language related to clothes.  There are laws in Leviticus about clothes.  God instructed the OT priests on what to wear don't believe God's people are free to wear wh…

How Stephanie and I Celebrated 15 Years of Marriage

Yesterday Stephanie and I celebrated 15 years of marriage! 
To kick off the festivities, on Wednesday afternoon Stephanie bought a new car from Harry Browns in Faribault. She said good goodbye to the minivan and bought a 2014 Dodge Journey. She picked out a great new vehicle and her dad Ralph channeled his inner New Yorker to haggle us a great price.
We started the day Thursday driving to St. Peter to pick up Isabelle from the "Gustie" Basketball and Leadership camp. She spent 4 days there learning, practicing and having a blast. We celebrated together as a family with some Godfather's Pizza!
After getting back to Northfield I dropped the kids off at some friend's houses so Stephanie and I could be alone together. Having great friends who help with the kids is such a blessing. 
Stephanie had the idea that we should get tattoos together. She didn't have to work hard to convince me! After asking for recommendations on Facebook we decided to check out  Guns and Nee…

How to Make an ISTJ Calm and Happy

When it is time to write a sermon I have found it is most effective for me to get out of the house and go to a coffee shop.  My mind is clearer and my focus is sharper there.  I am usually more productive.

The increase in output may be because, as pastor and author Mark Batterson often says, "change of place + change of pace = change in perspective."  However, I think something else is influencing me.  When I am out of my house I am not distracted by messes, dishes, house chores, or clutter; my mind is completely free to focus on the task I want to accomplish.

 In addition to Batterson's creativity axiom, here are a couple little formulas that I've found hold true for me:

Cleanliness = Creativity and Calmness.
Organized home = Organized mind.

Simply put, I function best when my environment feels under control.  This feeling of control comes in many different forms.  I feel like things are under control when my surroundings are clean and organized.  I feel like thin…